Sans Yao Ming, Rockets blast sleepy Lakers

Well, the Lakers are on their way to the NBA Finals to face Cleveland and give us a legendary match-up, oh wait a second…Seems the Houston Rockets, sans Yao Ming, weren’t quite ready to give up the ghost on this series. At least for one night, they showed the Lakers that they were able to step up their game when necessary. Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 34 points and Shane Battier drained 5 threes’ to lead the charge right over the dumbstruck Lakers. As quoted by the Associated Press on, Battier had some valid observations after the game:

“I’m not surprised,” said Battier. “It almost sounds cliche, but we’re a resilient group. We talk about bouncing back. Through adversity, through lineup changes, through trades, through injuries, we’ve never quit and we’ve never stopped believing.”

It was a serious spanking applied to the Lakers, and it’s something the Lakers need every few games or so. I don’t think I’m going out on a ledge here by saying that despite the loss, the Rockets don’t have a prayer of beating the Lakers in this series. The only real weapon Houston had that the Lakers seemed unable to fully counter, Yao Ming, is out with a broken foot.

Besides, Yao Ming wasn’t the turning point anyway, it’s not like the Rockets had much of a chance even with him at 100%. Now that LA’s had this little slap in the face, they’re gonna get real mad, and the next game would be a triumph for the Rockets if they can even keep it respectable.

That’s just what the Lakers do. They get lazy and get beat, then remember why they’re the most dangerous team in the league and win. It’s a lack of focus that may get them in trouble in the Finals, but isn’t going to be enough to worry anybody until then.

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